By Lt. Col. Caleb Eames
Two Amphibious Ready Groups with embarked Marine Expeditionary Units along with a Carrier Strike Group, operated together in the Indo-Pacific during Exercise Noble Fusion 3-7 February 2022. The exercise, led by Combined Task Force 76/79, ranged from the Luzon Strait to the Miyako Strait and the East China Sea, encompassing a wide swath of the First Island Chain, including littoral areas in the vicinity of Okinawa.
The exercise showcased joint and allied naval expeditionary forces’ ability to rapidly aggregate as a combat force to conduct lethal sea-denial operations, seize key maritime terrain, guarantee freedom of movement, and create all-domain advantage for US, partner and allied forces.
“The exercise was about using the sea as maneuver space to achieve positional advantage. It was about exercising our ability to maneuver critical capability to locations in the time and space of our choosing. We achieved positional advantage with the integration of two ARGs with their associated MEUs enabled by a carrier strike group. These capable warships must remain a critical component of our integrated deterrence strategy. Rest assured, we proved as an integrated, Naval, Joint and Allied force that we are completely committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. We are effectively contributing to that goal now and our operational prowess will only improve. Finally, what was clearly reinforced to me is our center of gravity remains our people. The Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines are professional, mission-focused and committed to maintaining peace in support of our national interest and the interest of our allies. These men and women are truly impressive. Our nations can rest easy knowing a powerful joint force comprised of true professionals are in overwatch,” said Brig. Gen. Kyle Ellison, Commanding General, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and CTF-79 Commander.
On Feb. 3rd, to kick off the exercise, the 11th MEU/USS Essex (LHD 2) ARG and Carrier Strike Group-3’s USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) conducted an amphibious maneuver highlighting the ability to seize key maritime terrain with AV-8B Harriers, MV-22B Ospreys and a Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye flying through the Luzon Strait.
“Exercise Noble Fusion gave us the opportunity to project naval power across all domains in a dynamic environment.” Rear Adm. J.T. Anderson, Commander